Digging holes here and there in American history.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012


Here's some photos from my history-related travels.

Book collection of John Adams on display in Boston.

Old North Church, Boston, of Paul Revere fame.

"Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution in Boston. 
Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's private getaway. 

Thomas Jefferson's brick outhouse at Poplar Forest.

The Presidential box at Ford's Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated.
Historic Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas.

Guest rooms at the Gage Hotel.

City cemetery in Terlinqua, Texas.

Ancient corn grinding holes, Big Bend National Park.

Cannon on the Confederate line, Gettysburg.

Closeup of the Virginia monument at Gettysburg.

Surratt's Tavern, Clinton, MD, where John Wilkes Booth stopped as he fled Washington.

Barboursville Plantation, home of a Virginia governor, designed by Thomas Jefferson.


Here's some of my favorite history blogs.  I hope you will check them out.



Donna Schlacter is a writer and her blog provides great information for anyone writing historical fiction.  Some of her recent blog posts include 'Horse Drawn Buggys,' Medicine in the 1890s,' and 'One Hundred Years of Toys.'



Lori Eggleston is a curator at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.  She cares for the artifacts in the museum’s collection and tell some of their back stories in her blog.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


In the "National Treasure" movies starring Nicholas Cage, secret long-forgotten treasures are discovered in the Washington, D.C. area.  In a real-life "National Treasure moment," a carpenter for the federal government stumbled across the office of Clara Barton, the pioneering Civil War-era nurse and humanitarian who pushed for the creation of the American Red Cross.  

While the facade of the old building has been restored, the dilapidated building at 437 Seventh Street in Washington was scheduled for demolition, its upper floors uninhabited for nearly 100 years.  Carpenter Richard Lyons of the General Services Administration was checking the interior of the old building when some papers caught his eye.  What he found ultimately led to a determination that this was the apartment Barton used for her Missing Soldiers' Office after the Civil War.

Between 1866 and 1868, Miss Barton supervised a staff which received correspondence from families searching for lost soldiers. Lists of the missing  were prepared and published for distribution nationwide to post offices. People who knew the whereabouts of the bodies of fallen soldiers would contact Barton's office, which would then notify the family. Occasionally a missing soldier was found alive.  The office handled more than 63,000 letters and provided information to the families of over 21,000 men.

Through a cooperative arrangement between the General Services Administration, the National Park Service, and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, the facility will one day house a museum to preserve the facility and display the artifacts and papers found there.


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